Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Snow Day List

We got a SNOW DAY today (yay for snow!!!), so I'm taking the opportunity to blog about some random things going on around here. It's been a lazy and pretty wonderful day. ☺

1. I'm doing so-so with my more and less these first few weeks of 2018. Some things have been going awesome and others I'm totally forgetting about. Soo, I'm thinking about doing a monthly update on how it's going and any successes or failures I'm experiencing. I think a monthly update will definitely help me stay on track with the priorities I established for the year and to REMEMBER. 

2. We are deep in party planning around here and just about have our firstborn's 9th birthday party planned. He's doing something a little different this year but still wanted a home party/giant play date. That's what I call it at least. Hopefully we can pull it off and it will be tons of fun for him. We are however a little behind when it comes to what we're doing for our littlest man. He changes his mind constantly and we're torn about what's best/what he'd enjoy most, and we live in a small town and it's Winter. So options are limited. In other words, the planning is a slow-go. #hurryupmama #Idon'tworkwellunderpressure

3. It must be noted that I am loving our Winter evenings. They have been soo nice, warm, and cozy. We are having a really cold Winter so cabin fever has crept in a tad, but our evenings are so laid back. There's no rushing around, no late nights for the kiddos, no cramming to get things done. I love the Fall, but during the Winter my life slows down some and we hibernate a little. ☺ My favorite part is getting the kids in bed early and getting to actually relax a bit and watch a show with my hubby. It's the best.

4. Pool progress is beginning again!! We've been at a stand-still for weeks thanks to Christmas, temperatures hovering around freezing, OR higher temps that have come with rain. But earlier this week the outline for the concrete around our pool was laid out and they're hoping to pour soon! Once the snow and ice melt of course. ☺ It's becoming real to us again and we are sooooo excited!! 

5. Our public library here in town has been under construction for almost an entire year making additions and renovating, and they are finally about to have their grand opening. I can't wait to see the "new" library and to go and check out some books! I rarely buy myself books so the library is my favorite. And my boys are super excited too because of the new Children's area. We can't wait to go check it out!

6. I think I'm addicted to Quaker chocolate chip granola bars. I have loved them for YEARS and they've been a snack staple/breakfast item for me longer than I can remember. However, now that I'm trying not to have something sweet/chocolate after lunch every day, I'm having a granola bar instead. And I always have one with breakfast. So that's at least 2 a day. If I'm starving after school and can't find anything else to eat I might have another. Occasionally. Not daily though. Weekly maybe? Bi-weekly possibly. Is this a problem? Should I try to limit them? Why are they soo good and easily eaten guilt free? I need a nutrition expert. Sigh.

7. We booked our summer vacay this week!! #SGI With all the busyness and sickness that happened around Thanksgiving and Christmas we didn't get around to it until this week. But thankfully we found what we think will work out great being our home for a week this summer. We'll miss the O'Mary fam but know our pool will be in good hands. ☺ 

8. The boys have been playing really well together this Winter considering we've been home a ton and that usually calls for plenty of fighting mixed in. So I hate to complain. Because they've played a ton together without any drama at all. But you know what else they've been doing a lot of? Begging for the iPads. Pleading, whining, suffering, crying. Austin is the most dramatic about it but it drives me crazy. And makes me want to throw them out the front door! (The iPads, not the kids, ha.) I'm just not a fan of a lot of screen time. I believe in being bored, using your imagination, playing with humans, etc. So periodically I call for a break. A fast of sorts. And they go without for a few days or even a week and it's sooo nice. "Electronics" are out of sight, out of mind and mama doesn't miss the begging, pleading, whining, or crying one bit. But it's Winter....  Annnnnd I discovered that the 3 days a week they're in my room after school I need something to occupy them because I'm still at work, trying to work.... And they're driving me crazy! So. Some compromises have been established that I hope will help and allow for balance and eliminate the begging and such. We'll see. I'll keep you posted.

And I think that's a wrap on my snow day list. ☺

Happy Hump Day! Hope you're staying warm and cozy today!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Favorites: Crazy Week Edition

We've had a pretty crazy week around here and are thankful to see Friday (and the long weekend!!) this morning! Between wins, losses, sickness, and being back at a school for our first full week in nearly a month, we've had a week of not enough sleep and some crazy emotions. So we're hoping for a really restful, low-key weekend! 

Here's a look at my faves from our week....

*On Saturday afternoon we added a member and the 4 cousins had so much fun together. We loved having Piper with us while her parents went on a date!! And then later that night we watched our Falcons win!!

*Monday night our Bulldogs played for the National Championship and lost a heart breaker. It was awful. It was deja vu. It was depressing. It made us wonder if our state and teams are cursed. Even though we love them the same and we know it's just a game, that didn't make it any easier on us. But my favorite moment was Monday morning when Terrell had the best "cheer up" talk with the big boys who were heartbroken. It even cheered me up. He's such a good daddy. And on Monday afternoon we enjoyed another "boost" and finally got outside and had some fun in the sun! 



*Monday afternoon was really good for the boys. And mama and daddy too.

*Then in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday our littlest love got sick. Boo. Terrell had to be at the office so I stayed home with him. Thankfully he felt much better for the rest of the day and we were able to have some quality one on one time together that really took me back to my staying home days. I was sleep deprived but loved our day together.

*Austin is doing great with reading! He got a box pack of Pete the Cat books for Christmas and has been reading one to me almost every night before bed. I'm so proud of him and love his desire to learn to read and get better and better!

*Speaking of his love of reading... This week he earned his sight word karate belt and had his name added to the wall at school. He was SO proud and excited about it!! And so were we!

*To start this year I'm using this book for my quiet times in the morning. I've had it for a while and have always pulled it out when I needed to "press pause" rather than reading it each day. It isn't necessarily a daily devotion and obviously it doesn't have an entry for each day of the year, but it has been so good for me to read daily. It's similar to a devotional with Scripture and a devotion/writing, but it also has a prayer and a few questions to help you reflect. It is a big favorite for me right now and the perfect way to start my mornings. 

The main thing on our agenda for this long weekend is party planning! We're also going to prioritize rest, play time, and buying groceries. ☺ Happy Friday!!



Thursday, January 11, 2018

More and Less

Every year for a while now I've decided to come up with a word, theme, or specific goals for our year. And every year it's made me a little more intentional and helped hold me accountable. Especially during the first half of the year! ☺ And off and on throughout the 2nd half too. I would even say that most years, it's made a real, tangible difference. 

But this year, I've been sort of stumped. Honestly I haven't had many ideas for the year other than to get through it. Which sounds really blah.... definitely not inspiring or productive or helpful. But becoming a working mom has been a doozy!! So it's really tempting to just have an attitude of "get through it" as I approach the 2nd half of this school year and the beginning of a brand new school year later in 2018. I love my job, I'm sooo thankful God provided my very job just for me, and He has really made it way more of a smooth transition for us than I ever imagined, but mama is still adjusting, still busier than I've ever been in my life, and still swimming in more responsibilities than ever before. 

So. Survival mode is real and quite the temptation. (Especially during our sports seasons.) But then I dwelt on that a minute, or a few days, and decided I'm not okay with just surviving the year and "getting through it". I mean, I know I'm tired. And a tad overwhelmed with starting this brand new year in a brand new, life changing role. I'm possibly also just a little more laid back. (That's a crazy thought considering I'm typically the opposite.) And I know all of the above says don't sweat the small stuff, don't put any extra pressure on yourself, just get through it. And some days, that's completely okay. Some weeks, that's okay. I'm a big believer in reverting to survival mode when needed.

But as I kept thinking over things and wondering, pondering, and praying I just felt like while part of me just wants to get through the year and fully adjust to working full time, part of me also isn't satisfied with that...which led me to "more and less". 

This year I really want to do more of some things and less of others. More good, less of the not so good. Above all I want to enjoy our year. Savor it. Have fun. Strive to be a better follower of Jesus, a better wife and mom, a better teacher. For me, the specifics of being able to enjoy and savor our year, have fun, and be better in my different roles comes down to more and less of certain things, attitudes, habits, etc.

So this is the list I've come up with. My reminders, my goals, my ways to improve. My more and less. 

MORE....

*Going to bed early. During the week I wake up at 5:00 and really can't sleep much later than that and still have time to get myself ready, do my quiet time, read blogs or write, and have those few minutes to myself before waking up my crew around 6:25. Since sleeping later isn't an option I really want to prioritize an earlier bedtime. My bedtime is typically 10:00-10:30, but closer to 10:30. I want to make it pre-10:00. 9:45ish. Which is going to be TOUGH come sports season. But I need more sleep. I don't like feeling worn out all the time and this seems like the most logical thing to help. 

*Cleaning during the week. Since going back to work my housework/house cleanliness has taken a hit. And it's been driving me crazy ever since! Ahhhhhh!! I've always been too busy after getting home, too worn out after getting home, or just not home enough to be able to do much during the week. So it all gets saved for the weekend. And unless I'm about to host something, I'd rather not spend tons of time during the weekend cleaning. So this year I'm going to *try* to shoot for doing a little more during the week. Especially during the off season, which we are currently enjoying, and especially now that I'm not bringing home as much work from school. I already vacuum quite a bit, at least in our great room, but I want to start tackling the clutter more during the week, dusting a room here and there, and maybe even cleaning a bathroom. Anything to lessen the weekend chores. ☺

*Praying and time with the Lord. Working full time has most definitely effected my prayer life some and the "quality" of my quiet times. I'm just more tired, more busy, and more rushed. Those are all excuses but reality nonetheless. I want to be intentional about putting God first, starting my day with Him, having my focus on Him, and praying without ceasing. 

*Physical Activity. People always laugh when they hear me say this, but I am totally out of shape. For real. Going up the steps at my house while carrying the laundry basket is a work out. This should not be! It's not realistic for me to commit to working out, doing videos, joining a gym, or anything like that. And during this season of busyness I have no desire for those things. So it just boils down to being more active. Physically active. Going on walks, SWIMMING (wooohooo for our own swimming pool!!!), playing with my boys, walking during sports practices, doing some planks, and more swimming. ☺ 

*Blogging. I want to continue. It's such a special scrapbook for our family and I love to write, journal, and record our memories here. So I'm going to commit to continue blogging. It may not be as often as I would like but I want to keep it up for as long as a I can. 

LESS....

*Time on my phone. This is a popular one that's waaaay easier said than done I know. But if you don't try or set some goals or get intentional about it, nothing will happen/change/improve. I want to put it away in the evenings. Which I've been doing for a couple of years now somewhat successfully. But I need to literally put it away, out of sight-out of mind. So from supper until the boys' go to bed I'm going to try to have it in a totally different room. I also want to put it away in the car. I have a bad habit of scrolling through fb or blogs when I'm a passenger and then Terrell is basically left all alone because I'm so absent minded. So I need to work on that. Less screen time for mama and holding myself to the same standard I hold my kiddos.

*Sweets. I have a serious sweet tooth that needs to be tamed. Chocolate is my weakness. I love cookies. Or doughnuts. Or cake. Or anything sweet. #eeeesh So it's become a habit for me to throw some chocolate in my lunchbox every day. And maybe have a little something after we finish supper every night. (Which I blame on the boys who request "dessert" after every single lunch and supper. And since we started this, I guess I blame myself. But in my defense it isn't much and I wasn't deprived of sweets as a child so I'm not going to deprive my kids. Which means the true blame here is my parents. HA!) So basically I just want to stop the bad habit of having something sweet after meals. If I can break that particular habit I think I'll be able to have a sweet snack every now and then without guilt or thinking I have no self control and am powerless to stop the chocolate. ☺


*Being overwhelmed. My friends and family are aware that I'm easily overwhelmed and they do a great job of talking me down and helping me break things up and not have an anxiety attack or freak out over all that's on my plate. (In full disclosure, I started taking anxiety meds last year per the recommendation of my closest friends... one who is an NP and one who always tells me the cold hard truth, haha.... and it has been life changing and sooo helpful. I'd really hate to see how I'd be handling all of my responsibilities and such without them (the friends and the pills ☺). However, I'm still easily overwhelmed. Not to the point of freaking out and losing it, but to the point of being flustered and wondering how, when, and HOW can I get it done. I've also been known to let my kids overwhelm me when they're running wild and not listening and Terrell isn't home to reign them in or take them off my hands for a minute. Sooo, it's important to me to try to stay calm during those times, pray, take some deep breaths, make a list of what has to be done immediately and a list of what has to be done later, and to know this too shall pass. Apparently I can be dramatic from time to time. Sigh. I'm hoping staying ahead a little at school (which is happening for the first time this school year now! THANK YOU CHRISTMAS BREAK!!), asking for help when I feel a little like I'm drowning, and just generally trying to calm down during the high-pressure, high-stress times. Pray for me. 

More of the good, less of the not so good. That's my theme and goal for this year. I know God is faithful and I'm so thankful I can trust in Him and His plans. Praying 2018 is full of His goodness!!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Favorites: 1st of the New Year!

The first week of 2018 has been pretty good. We enjoyed our long weekend, and have been enjoying our short week too. We still aren't back into the swing of things just yet. One of my kiddos has had some back to school blues and that 5:00 alarm has been shock to my system, BUT, overall it's been a good one.

Here are my favorite happenings from Christmas Break plus this week...

*Our completed Nativity Advent Calendar is always a favorite. The boys took turns opening each little door in the same order (to keep things fair of course), and arranged everyone just so. Terrell, Garrison, or I read the verse each morning and it's become a favorite Christmas tradition for all of us.

*Two days after Christmas Terrell and I hosted a family reunion for my dad's side of the fam. Lots of us live in this area but we have several family members scattered about so this was a chance to get most of us together (although several people were already back to work so had to miss) and catch up and reminisce. It was so much fun with a really special group. (Terrell took this picture for us and Piper is sitting on the couch facing all of us. ☺)

*Garrison had a play date at a friend's house a few days after Christmas so I let Austin have a friend over to our house as soon as he was available. ☺ They had tons of fun. 

*4 boys on 4 riding toys was a little crazy but as long as you stayed out of their way, you were safe. Haha!

*The boys got Life Junior for Christmas and are loving it. We tested it out over our long weekend and we've played it almost every single day this week per their request. Layton comes and goes... he participates for a while and then gets bored and plays something different before coming back again. ☺

*These 3 are beyblade pros now! They love to battle and play all the time. 

*My handsome boys on New Year's Eve!

*One of mine and Terrell's favorite traditions is going out to eat at the same restaurant every New Year's Eve. And having family with us is just icing on the cake. We had so much fun with this crew as we prepared to ring in 2018! We even went out for ice cream afterwards and almost froze. ☺

*Terrell has been giving lots of pool lessons to the boys and now the big boys can play each other. Foosball and pool are the big favorites right now on their new Christmas present.

*We enjoyed New Year's Day to the fullest with lots of rest, downtime, a little cleaning, and then of course cheering on our alma mater! I must say though that having YOUR team in the big game can be torture. Hahaha. I was in knots the whole game and it wasn't good for my health at all! #tellmewhenit'sover #Ican'twatch We were soooo excited and thrilled when our Bulldogs pulled off the big win! We let the boys stay up for the whole game (we got them in bed at our normal time NYE) and they were SO excited. I'm surprised the neighbors couldn't hear the hooping, hollering, jumping around, and celebrating going on after that win. ☺ Such an exciting way to start 2018!! (This picture was taken after our victory in case you couldn't tell)

*I had a professional learning/work day on Tuesday so my in-laws kept the boys for us and they had such a fun day! Waffle House, Sky Zone, Taco Bell, and fro-yo for their last day of Christmas Break. They loved every second!



*The boys got another Christmas present this week! We were hoping we could work it out for Santa to deliver these Atlanta United uniforms but since there was a delay they turned out to be from mama and daddy and more like a Happy New Year present. They were soo excited!

*The schedule for the upcoming season just came out so we are looking ahead and trying to determine when we're going to take these super fans to a game. We can't wait!!

*Layton has been hounding his brothers almost every afternoon this week to play ninja turtles or Power Rangers and the day they finally caved was my favorite. They all came downstairs in costume and ended up playing "fight the bad guys" and "spy on mama". Haha. They had so much fun!! And I savored every second!

We are ready to welcome the weekend this afternoon. The week back after a break can be pretty exhausting! We don't have many plans other than cheering on our Falcons, buying groceries, and trying to stay warm at home. ☺ Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017 In Review

Happy New Year!!

I ran out of time to post this in 2017, so a look back before looking ahead it is! I love being able to read back over our year and just remember and reminisce. So a recap is a must. Even if it is a little late. ☺

2017 was WILD for the Selph fam. We experienced a roller coaster of change, craziness, and adjustment like possibly never before. We faced a whole lot of challenges and ups and downs but through it all God was faithful and truly showered us with grace. The year started pretty rocky for us... financially, in our marriage, just in general. Terrell and I were distant and wanted really different things for our future, and it was a discouraging place for us. But through lots of prayer, patience, and seeking His will rather than our own, we found peace and contentment. And all sorts of new opportunities unfolded for us. It was a year of testing and of blessing. Looking back I'm so thankful He is sovereign and He can be trusted with our hopes, dreams, fears, and shortcomings!!

Here's a look back at the highlights and best moments of our 2017....

JANUARY

In January we started a brand new year and enjoyed a no snowed in weekend. It was disappointing to miss out on the snow but we made the most of it!

We had a super fun long weekend and cheered on our Falcons each week in the play-offs. 

Then we celebrated Nanny's birthday, and at the end of the month had the best time celebrating our biggest boy's upcoming 8th birthday with his Pokemon party!

January was busy and fun!

FEBRUARY

With February came lots of celebrations... birthdays, Valentine's, and more birthdays.☺It's always a special month for us. 


We had an awesome birthday weekend and loved Garrison's birthday outing so much!! Snow Mountain was SO fun! (The Falcons broke our hearts on Garrison's actual birthday but thankfully we eventually moved on and are ready to cheer them on in the playoffs again this year.)

Layton turned 3 on 12th!

We had a really sweet family Valentine's Day... 

And then celebrated Layton's birthday with a fun tractor party!

We also enjoyed Winter Break and a week off of school plus Nana's birthday and Paw Paw's birthday all before February was over. It's the shortest month of the year but jam packed for us with celebrations!

MARCH

With March came some major changes for this mama. I became a full time teacher again!! Eeeek!!! We enjoyed a special date night, endured Terrell coming down with the flu, tried our best to adjust to me working full time, and got our baseball season underway. March was tough and full of challenges but sprinkled in with some really sweet blessings.


APRIL

In April we enjoyed Spring Break! Wooohoooo!! We took some fun day trips and finally celebrated with Layton's birthday outing


In April we also continued our baseball season, celebrated Granna's birthday and Pops' birthday, and enjoyed a really special Easter weekend with family.

April was lots of fun. And Spring Break was a huge blessing to me as I tried not to drown in my working mom-during baseball season schedule and responsibilities. We survived April but we also thrived some too. YAY. ☺ 

MAY

May was a blur. Seriously. We were busy and overwhelmed and limped across the finish line to summer. It was just pure craziness.  

In the midst of school year wrap up, baseball wrap up, hosting a baby shower, Teacher Appreciation week with PTCO, preparing for the last week of school as a teacher and as a mama, and all the other little things that need to happen no matter what time of year it is, well May was extremely full. Including Garrison having a tonsillectomy at the very end of the month! But the highlights were super special. And I know that's what I'll always remember and appreciate most about May 2017. 

Mother's Day weekend was super full but a huge favorite. 

And so was wrapping up the school year with my big boys and my students. You can read all about the highlights of our May here. 

JUNE

June was super exciting! One of the biggest highlights was interviewing for a PreK teaching position at our school and getting the job!! It was such an answered prayer for us and a huge testament to the way God can change a heart! MY heart in particular!

June was also full of trips for us. Terrell and I celebrated 12 years of marriage and were able to take a last minute anniversary trip thanks to Garrison's smooth recovery from his tonsillectomy. We had a wonderful get-away to the beach and the boys loved their summer weekend with Granna and Papa. ☺

Shortly after returning home from our anniversary weekend, we got ready for another long weekend with Terrell's parents in Gatlinburg! We had one of our best ever trips to Gburg and wrapped up the weekend by celebrating Father's Day with both sides of the family. It was a great few days start to finish. 

And by the end of the month we were beach bound for SGI! One of my favorite places on earth!!

June was awesome and we loved it big time!!

JULY

We welcomed July at the beach while enjoying an oh so wonderful vacation with family. St George Island was the best once again and we loved our week at the beach! (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)



We arrived home from our vacay in time to celebrate the 4th

Then we enjoyed our last weeks of summer with a girls day, swimming pool visits, play dates, Nana Camp, working in my classroom, celebrating AnAn's birthday, and our big summer weekend. We finished up the month with pre-planning and our first day of school

July was pretty awesome. We savored our 2nd half of summer and made the most of our laid back days and endless time together. For the 2nd year in a row it was one of my favorite months!

AUGUST

August was pretty exhausting. As always. Sigh. The back to school adjustment (especially for me!) was a tough one. But, the best news is that I loved my job!! And slowly, slowly we all adjusted to our new normal. We celebrated Frankie's birthday, daddy's birthday, started soccer, started finalizing pool plans, began work on our brand new deck, and finally made it to a Braves game at SunTrust Park!


August was crazy and wore us out but we had some fun and definitely counted our blessings. God's answered prayers for my start to PreK were felt and wow-ing!!

SEPTEMBER

September was full of fun but also came with some unexpected scares.

We kicked off the month by celebrating Austin's 6th birthday with a fidget spinner party
 

The whole weekend was all about Austin and celebrating his birthday. He decided on another trip to Chuck E Cheese this year and we had a blast enjoying the water slide all weekend long in addition to his fun party. 

Then we had a wild week with 3 days of no school and 2 days of no power thanks to Hurricane Irma. Thankfully we didn't have any damage and only suffered a few minor inconveniences. 

We continued the month with soccer, Buggy Days, an Atlanta United game, and the busyness of the school year before our middle man really scared us by coming down with HSP. So thankful for a bestie who knew to send us to a pediatric urgent care and for the NP there who recognized it right away!! We ended up spending the night in the hospital and praying for good reports so we could go home the following day. We are actually still monitoring the HSP but he is doing well. We don't have a clean bill of health yet but we think we're super close.

OCTOBER

October was full of fun and all things Fall! I celebrated my 34th birthday, we enjoyed Fall Break, we continued our soccer season, and we made our annual trip to the pumpkin patch.  




We also celebrated Piper's and Papa's birthdays and wrapped up the month with so much fun on Halloween and trick or treating with our favorite cowgirl! 

October was special and full and we loved it a ton. ☺

NOVEMBER

This November was the busiest I can remember. School was especially crazy for me with a huge to-do list and tons of work to prepare for December and the end of our first semester. Honestly I was pretty stressed for most of the month. But we wrapped up soccer with games, parties, and tournaments, had our new septic system installed in preparation for putting in our pool, and finally made it to Thanksgiving Break, Thanksgiving Day, and kicking off the Christmas season. 

My baby boy was in his first little program at school... as the cutest pilgrim ever!

We enjoyed Holiday in the Park at Six Flags...

The lighting of our trees downtown on Thanksgiving Eve...


And last but not least... the fun, adventure, and stress that came with the Selph Family Christmas Tree

November was definitely the opposite of dull. ☺

DECEMBER

Oh December. How should I describe you? SICK, fun, festive, SICK, busy, exciting, and SICK. Haha! We struggled during December. Most of us were sick more than once, but thankfully we were still able to squeeze in most of our holiday fun and traditions as we prepared to celebrate our Savior's birthday. Unfortunately I couldn't savor the season like I wanted and things were definitely stressful as we battled all the sickness, wrapping up our first half of the school year, and trying to Christmas shop and wrap. But the highlights were special, as they always are during December. 


We enjoyed a morning of snow flurries!

We watched as the beginning stages of our pool became reality!


And we shared 3 days of Christmas traditions with family. (Part 1, Part 2)

2017 was a crazy adventure. One I'm really thankful for. Challenges and all. 

My favorite family selfie from last year is this one.... 

So thankful God gave me my guys to share the adventure with and for the laughter, smiles, and fun we experienced this year. 

Happy New Year!!